The Bears are heading toward the offseason with the most cap space, the number one overall pick, and plenty of young stars to build around. However, the Bears still have a roster full of holes. Despite how much draft capital and money the Bears have, every position isn’t going to be upgraded the same. Some positions are more critical than others, and the Bears’ front office must decide where they will allocate their resources.
If you had told any Bears fan at the start of the season that the Bears would go on to have one of the worst defenses in the league, they would’ve called you crazy. Trades involving All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith and veteran Robert Quinn left the Bears’ defense empty by the end of the season. The secondary shows promise, but the real problem begins at the defensive line. The Bears’ defensive line was high and away the worst in the league. The lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks allowed teams to shred through the Bears’ defense like it was nothing.
That leads to the next point, the Bears’ most important need: An edge rusher. The Bears’ edge rushers consist of Trevis Gipson, who, despite the hype, underperformed after putting up seven sacks in 2021. The other rusher is second-year player Dominique Robinson, who put up only one and a half sacks in 2022. Robinson was a project when the Bears decided to draft him. He has shown all the intangibles to be a great edge rusher in this league, but he still needs time to develop.
The Bears’ defense cannot thrive off a mediocre edge rusher and a project edge rusher. Right now, the Bears are in a prime position to draft a generational talent: Will Anderson Jr. Anderson will undoubtedly be selected in the top five if not the top ten. The Alabama edge rusher can bring a spark back to the Bears’ defense and become a franchise staple for years. Every good team thrives off of a great defense, and the Bears’ front office needs to take advantage of the opportunity before them.